Saturday, 17 November 2012

West Ham Supporter Advisory Board Update

I attended last Monday's West Ham Supporter Advisory Board along with over 100 other members on the 124 strong advisory board.

The full power-point presentation from the evening can be found on the link below,,12562~178571,00.pdf

Special Guest

Surprise guest of the night was Sam Allardyce who spent around one hour doing a private Q&A with SAB members. My question to Big Sam started with a statement. I said ' I am sure you are aware you weren't everyone's cup of tea when you were appointed but hopefully I speak for the majority of West Ham fans when I say you did a bloody good job last season and your start to this season is none too shabby either' The statement was received with a round applause for Sam's achievements. My following question was 'It is rumoured you entered into a two year contract, if this is true have you started re-negotiating with the board to extend your time as West ham manager'

Sam smiled and said 'It is a 2 year contract which expires at the end of this season but negotiations had not started yet' he then hinted that West ham needed to be sure they had secured premiership survival before a proper deal could be done.

SAB Myths

I know many think the SAB is full of hand picked supporters who agree with the club, or that it is some kind of secret society with funny hand shakes. Others think it is a marketing gimmick that gives lip service to fans views only and is a waste of time.

The club are very clear, it is not and was never intended to be a Supporters Trust. The club is not a democracy and not trying to be like AFC Wimbledon.

However the two Davids understand it is a very stupid business that doesn't listen to it's customers and the advisory board is there to do just that, feed back views of customers who will vote with their custom on match days, season tickets and purchases in the club shop.  

If you attended any of the SAB meetings you would instantly know the hand picked accusation is a complete myth as well. There are plenty of SAB members who don't see eye to eye with the club on a numbers of issues. The idea of the SAB as puppets with the two Davids pulling the strings is frankly laughable. Membership of the SAB includes two committee members of WHUSVIEW who are opposed to the move to the Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Stadium was not discussed on Monday as the discussions are still at a delicate stage and the club are under strict confidentiality restrictions. However we were promised an emergency SAB meeting when the decision is made (which ever way it goes!)

As for the SAB having no teeth and just a marketing ploy to pay lip service to the fans here are twenty of the things SAB involvement helped changed last season.

1) The 20% discount  for STH promised by previous owners was bought to the attention of the West Ham board by the SAB. The SAB asked us the board to honour the promise.

2) The SAB were consulted on membership and benefits and the (0-6) year membership was launched earlier this season as a result

3) Request for a token gift for ST holders like members. West Ham Pin badges being sent out this season.

4) Viagogo deal came as a result of the SAB to allow STH to sell back tickets.

5) 2 for £20 T Shirt range extended after SAB feedback

6) By the Fans for the Fans extended from SAB feeback

7) Season Ticket holders ability to upgrade to Corporate without re-purchase 

8) Junior ST holders mascots and Christmas party. There will be another one this year.

9) SMS for poor behaviour to be on big screen and in programme

10) More Bubble machines

11) Season Ticket holders Bar (trialed  but unsuccessful) Looking at it again.

12) New Mascot Hammerhead (SAB ‘less scary’ comments effected final look)

13) Brand – ‘Forever United’ was too generic and didn't focus on heritage so it was dropped due to SAB feedback

14) Moore than a Football Club was chosen as new brand from SAB feedback

15) More focus on the crossed Hammers/Irons from SAB feedback

16) Armed Forces offer – this scheme is now up and running

17) More links with Bobby Moore Fund and family

18) Looking into West Ham Loyalty scheme 

19) Move from pints to bottles in bars to speed up serving times

20) Ability for STH to bring along friends at discounted rates and site next to them

New SAB Format in the coming year

Going forwards the SAB will concentrate on four areas with sub groups outside any OS decision which will would involve the whole SAB membership. 

Media Group (New website, fan blog writer, twitter, facebook and research)

Community/Charity (benchmarking, what more could be done, Bobby Moore Fund)

Season Ticket/Membership benefits (research other products, what would we like to add e.g. extra priority day, pack content)

Match day Experience

Names of The 2012/13 Supporter Advisory Board
Keith Alder-Barber
Stuart Allen
Graeme Archer
Satvir Atkar
Steven Barlow
Tony Barritt
Catherine Bayford
Rachel Beagles
Daniel Bloom
Jack Boteler
Tim Boughen
Peter Bruce
Steve Burton
Peter Caton
Will Cheeld
Neil Clack
Daniel Clement
Marcus Clement
David Clements
Andy Connacher
Tina Cowen
Lesley Craig
Colin Crowe
Michael Crowhurst
Stuart Dean
Jill Dower
Tom Dowsett
Neil Duggan
Kevin Dunckley
Gavin Dunstan
Dee England
Saul Ettridge
Michael Evans
Tricia Evans
John Farren
Rob Ford
Paul Fox
Richard Francis
Michelle Gabriel
Jonathan Gaffney
Paul Gibson
Sherrie Goldsmith
David Hall
David Halston
Tony Harries
Graham Hatt
Benjamin Hawkes
Ian Henderson
Jack Hess
Graham Howlett
Craig Hughes
Peter Hunt
Anthony Hyams
Deniz Jaffer
Steve Joyce
Nigel Kahn
Diane Keleghar
John Kemp
Warren Kober
Adrian Leahy
Victor Lindsell
John Llewellyn
Phil Llewellyn
Kevin Markham
Ryan Marsh
Steve Marsh
Neil Martin
Dan Mason
Suzanne Mason
Gerry McCarthy
Norman McGuire
Steve Medhurst
Antoni Miziolek
Darren Morgan
Colin Morris
John Norman
Michael Nuciford
Leigh O'Connor
Cecilia O'Herlihy
Wallace Onnie
John Parry
Jonathan Penfold
Eamon Quinn
Kevin Radley
Paul Reynolds
Paul Richardson
Pete Richardson
Jason Rose
James Rutherford
Steve Ryder
Nigel Salvage
Nick Scott
Barry Shelton
Stuart Slaney
Mark Steele
Terry Stokes
Ben Surdeau
John Sussex
Dave Tate
Mark Taylor
Kishan Teli
Simon Thomson
Eleanor Tilley
Mark Tilley
Stephen Todd
Stephen Trowers
Kathryn Upton
John Walker
Ian Wearne
Sean Whetstone
Anne-Marie White
Peter Whitelock
Nick Wood
Richard Wood
Ali Worth
Ian Wicks
Trevor Wisdom
Daniel Yallop
John Yewman
Jason Zammit

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